GenSan lobbying for funding to fasttrack circumferential road

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/14 July) – The city government here is lobbying for additional funding from the national government to help fasttrack the completion of the unfinished P1.1-billion city circumferential road.

Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio said she has submitted an official request to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to increase its allocation and prioritize the completion of the 30-kilometer circumferential road project.

The mayor said she has also discussed the matter with DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson, who initially promised to look into the project’s status and funding requirements.

“We gave him the background of the ongoing works and some proper information so we can push ahead with the project,” she said.

The road project, which was launched as a priority initiative during the Arroyo administration, did not move as planned due to lack of funding.

The road network starts from the diversion road along the General Santos-Davao highway in Barangay Katangawan and stretches to the Sinawal road along the General Santos-Isulan highway in Barangay Apopong and the airport road in Barangay Fatima.

The DPWH already completed the construction of the road network’s component bridge that connects Barangays Fatima and Sinawal while the concreting and upgrading of about a kilometer of the eastern section of the Sinawal road in Barangay Apopong is currently ongoing.

The Sinawal road upgrading concreting project, which started on December 29, 2010, is being undertaken by construction firm T-Square Builders.

DPWH regional officials said at least P658.363 million is still needed to complete the project, especially its remaining component roads, bridges and acquisition of the road right of way.

But Custodio said the DPWH allocated some P40 million for the project in 2010 and P30 million for this year.

Aside from the city government, she said the Regional Development Council (RDC) of Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao has also endorsed the project as among the region’s priorities for immediate completion.

The RDC 12, which Custodio heads, sought for the prioritization of the project in terms of the DPWH’s allocations for 2012 during a meeting here last April 14 with President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.

Custodio earlier said the completion of the project will mainly decongest traffic along the city’s major streets and provide a better linkage for the city’s peripheral areas.

A report from the DPWH Region 12 noted that the circumferential road is also expected to bring economic impact through easy facilitation of transporting of goods to and from the seaport, fishport and the city airport.

It will serve as road artery in transporting goods and passengers leading to Sarangani province, Davao del Sur and Davao City, it said. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)